Leading TVC production house Revolver and former Screen Australia and Goalpost Pictures executive Martha Coleman have launched film and TV production banner Revlover.
The new company is developing a big slate of projects with entities such as Goalpost, Foxtel, eOne and Transmission Films.
Christopher Sharp, former director of development at Screen Queensland and development executive at Screen Australia, is Revlover’s head of development.
Founded in the 1990s and owned by Steve Rogers and Michael Ritchie, Revolver represents Justin Kurzel, The Glue Society’s Matt Devine and Gary Freedman, Rogers, Simon McQuoid, Tim Godsall and a number of other directors with whom Coleman is keen to work.
“Michael and Steve have been wanting to expand into long form film and television for some time but they know that many commercials companies who try to cross over fail because they work outside of the industry, not within it, “ says Coleman, a former producer at Goalpost and head of development at Screen Australia who previously worked for UK-based Material Entertainment and Icon Films International.
“The companies who try and fail often have a 'We know what we’re doing and can do it better than those filmmakers' attitude, but Steve and Michael are smarter than that and were keen to partner with someone who was right inside.
“From my side, they have a fresh outsiders' perspective that I value. I was attracted to their marketplace sensibility, their understanding and connection with branded funding, the consistently extremely high standard of the work; and we share an outlook that embraces the international.
"It’s a good meeting of skills and sensibilities and the timing is right for each of us to embark on this together. What really helps is a constant momentum and energy in the office, with different projects in different stages of physical production every day.”
Coleman had worked with Sharp in London and at Screen Australia. He gained more international experience working in sales and acquisitions with New York-based FilmNation for six months in a professional placement under Screen Australia’s talent escalator program.
Revlover’s slate includes a development deal with Transmission for Sheila, based on the best-selling biography by Robert Wainwright of Sheila Chisolm, an Australian beauty who had a long affair with Prince Bertie after WW1.Scripted by Samantha Strauss, it will be a joint venture with Goalpost, produced by Rosemary Blight and Coleman.
In development with eOne is a TV series based on an article in The Guardian by Tobias Jones about the solving of a murder case in Italy (reset in Australia), which Steve Rogers will direct.
Revlover has a development deal with Foxtel for The Infidelity Diaries, based on the book by Anonymous about three sisters who each discover their husband is having an affair, and the complex and different ways they respond.
Also in the works is a feature based on a short film by one of Revolver's directors, Matt Devine, set entirely on Panyee, a man-made floating island off Thailand, the true story of the children of that island establishing a football team against the odds.
Another project is The Wedding Officer, based on the book by Anthony Capella, about a by-the-book British Officer who was sent to Naples during the allied occupation during WW2 to vet the romantic liaisons between British soldiers and the local beauties, envisioned as an Italian/Australian co-production.
Screen Australia is funding the development of Pig Wing Pie, an animated family film with writer Erica Harrison and director Simon Rippingale, who won an AACTA award for their short A Cautionary Tail. The plot follows a young girl who lives in a society overcome by cynicism and gloom and sets off to prove what her mad grandma told her: that flying pigs exist.
Among other films on the slate are Private Moody, a true, funny and dark tale about Horrie the war dog which Last Cab to Darwin's Reg Cribb will write, intended for eOne; and Diary of an Uber Driver, a blog written by an anonymous Uber driver that shares the funny, tragic and moving connections he makes while driving the night shift. That’s likely to be a 10 minute online comedy show inspired by the likes of High Maintenance.